Private Water Ownership – the Kern Water Bank

More is coming out in the mainstream media about the private ownership of the Kern Water Bank by Central Valley farmers – primary ownership Stewart Resnick’s Paramount Farms.
Kern Water Bank

Linda Yee who produced a great two-part piece on the Delta Tunnels from the Delta’s perspective just released on CBS Evening News Group Sues California for Privatizing Massive Water Reserve .

She says “There is one place where there’s no shortage of water. The bountiful pomegranate, almond and pistachio fields of paramount farms are as green as ever.
You wouldn’t know it because you can’t see it. But there is a huge underground water reservoir on the south end of the Central valley, near Bakersfield. It’s four times as big as Hetch Hetchy reservoir.”

There is a great deal of money that can be made transferring water at cheap subsidized agriculture rates to urban users at their much higher rates. Cathy Yee interviewed Katy Spanos, an attorney with the California Department of Water Resources, who disagrees. “We don’t see any signs that it will be used to sell water outside the service area,” she said.

Oh yeh?

Today another article came out tracking down the convoluted way water IS getting transferred from the Kern Water Bank to urban use, even though the Bureau of Reclamations Contract with the Kern Water Bank owners is for ag use only.
See Lois Henry: Water From Kern County Sprawls Home Growth in Madeira, CA.

While Sacramento is on water rationing, Delta flows are being cut back (which will be devastating for the salmon) and Eastside Central Valley farmers need to chose between depleting their ground water with those dire effects or letting crops die, Paramount Farms orchards are flush with water and a handful of Westside Central Valley mega-farmers can profit from their privately owned, full water bank.

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